- Several shops in Totnes are selling a number of energy-saving devices in response to public interest. Shopkeepers have taken to downloading energy and carbon savings about products they sell off the internet and making ‘display briefs’ to assist customers’ understanding of the benefits.
- Christina’s Designs 4 Change in Totnes opens a clothes alteration service with a special offer to revamp an old suit into a new look. Mending is coming back into fashion.
- The levels of unemployment continue to grow and an Unemployment Forum based in Totnes Connexions is established to link people with local work paid and unpaid. A website and regular local radio slot helps stimulate local work. A number of hours work with local growers and small farmers benefits local food production and provides work. Many shops are employing people to do local deliveries as an incentive to buy local.
- Fore Street and High Street in Totnes win the Carbon Trust’s national competition for the High Street with the Lowest Carbon footprint in the UK. Receiving the award, the Mayor of Totnes tells The Daily Telegraph “the lesson for me from today is what a remarkable place this is, and what remarkable traders we have here. There are many awards a town can win, but surely this is the one our grandchildren will thank us for the most.”
- Local co-operatives of shared-interest trades people begin to form, looking for ways to increase business as a group and stimulate local business based on local resources. One group is to carry out a feasibility study into setting up a local recycled glass business
- The first businesses open up in the business units that comprise Phase One of the ATMOS project. There is huge demand for spaces, and the units are all allocated before they are even completed. Many of the businesses are new start-ups, and they find working in proximity to other green-minded enterprises to be very inspiring. Many business collaborations take place, and partnerships are formed. Riverford Comes to Town’s Café building with its edible rooftop garden that covers the whole building complex wins an Ethical Observer Award, Riverford’s fifth. Many of the businesses based at ATMOS use the garden in some way in their logos and on their headed notepaper.
- Tibetan paper makers set up a recycling project at Dartington to recycle business waste and cardboard back into cardboard using water and energy from the Dart. This £10m scheme arranged by Totnes Indian Connection will be funded by American grants to enable the Tibetan refugee workers (from India) to share their skills and gain a degree at Schumacher, leaving a legacy of new jobs and a business to run.
- Totnes Pounds are accepted in 30% of businesses in Totnes & District. Some discounts are offered for locally produced goods. Totnes Pound goes electronic with the launch of the ‘TotCard’, a debit card that incentivises the support of local shops.
- Timebanks are being developed by community groups wishing to encourage local unemployed, retired and those with spare time to involve themselves in social projects
Policy Makers & Service Providers
- The new crèche at SHDC opens the way for a more flexible approach to enable staff to reduce their hours and job-share.
- SHDC announce a grant scheme for people wanting to set up new businesses in Totnes and District that play an active part in bringing the 2009 EDAP into reality. The criteria are strict, but such is the enthusiasm for business start-ups that accompanied by TTT’s ‘Transition Social Entrepreneur Training’, there is a huge take-up for the scheme.
- Totnes Recycling Centre is to be enlarged to provide increased facilities for a re-use centre and allow for more employment based on the recyclables. Five more jobs will be created in the first instance
- SHDC proposes to invest in a broad range of environmental services to support development of local resources, as part of its ‘Green New Deal’ programme. Jobs will be created in recycling, tree and hedgerow planting, and home insulation and renewable energy supplies. In line with national initiatives, local green procurement policies are to be implemented
- Resource taxes including land-use taxes are to be applied to empty premises and holiday homes to reduce waste of premises, waste disposal taxes to encourage more recycling and reuse, and quarrying tax to reduce the use of virgin materials. The revenue raised from these taxes will be administered by local authorities to create green jobs. Spending on the military on overseas manoeuvres is to be reduced to allow increased investment in national contingency plans to combat climate emergencies
- National government agrees an Energy Rebate on income tax to encourage taxpayers to invest in renewable energy on their homes. Investments are tied to trained personnel carrying out the installations, and are expected to create at least 20 new jobs in Totnes and District.
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